Wong Kar Wai called Chungking Express, his fourth film but first international calling card, a road movie of the heart. My Blueberry Nights, his first film in English, has been called an actual road movie, but its more of a destination film with three settings: East goes West when Elizabeth (Norah Jones) ditches New York with a broken heart and lights out for Memphis and the gambling hub of Ely, Nevada. Known as Lizzie in Memphis and Beth in Nevada, the shell-shocked Elizabeth has transformative interactions with the localsArnie (David Strathairn) and his estranged wife Sue Lynne (Rachel Weisz) in Memphis, Natalie Portmans troubled poker babe in Nevadathen returns to New York healed and with a great new hat. But the lovelorn cops in Chungking Express traverse a greater distance within the perimeter of the Midnight Express deli and the Chungking House hotel than Wong manages with all of Route 50 here. The disappointment in this case doesnt have much to do with Wong doing Americahes been doing America for years, even in Chinesebut with Wong seemingly doing Wong, and not up to his own standard.
Wong Kar WaiNorah Jones, Jude Law, Natalie Portman, Rachel Weisz, Chad R. Davis, Katya Blumenberg, John Malloy, Demetrius Butler, Frankie Faison, David StrathairnWong Kar WaiJean-Louis PielThe Weinstein Company